Kid Approved Snacks That Are Easy and Fun

green-smoothie-2This January, I started a detox group with a friend of mine that’s an Arbonne consultant. I am not promoting Arbonne (because I’ve chosen not to use the Arbonne products, even though I’ll explain why later in this post) but I will say it is cool to have community, and if you’re into protein shakes, you’ll love Arbonne. They are the healthiest I’ve heard of so far, and completely vegan (yay!)

I have discovered a few things about myself, my body, and the way I eat. All through highschool I had dermatologists tell me that what I was eating had absolutely no impact on my acne whatsoever. The line was “unless you rub the food on your face, there’s no way what you eat can impact your skin.” I had them explain to me, in detail, about how what you put inside your body can have no impact on the skin because it’s on the outside. Let me assure this, this line of thinking is pure hogwash and I’m just shocked it came from a medical professional.

BOTH dairy and caffeine have a DIRECT impact on my acne. I have struggled with acne for years, and by eliminating my morning coffee beverage (granted, I drink like 3 cups a day, so maybe it’s the volume of dairy and caffeine, but that’s a muse for another day), I have managed to reduce my acne to amounts that allow me to wear no make up, and stop use of the antibiotic the dermatologist had given me. I also added in a fruit/coconut milk/kale smoothie in the mornings for breakfast and again at lunch. So by taking out the bad, and re-infusing my body with super-good, my skin (and my mood) are thanking me.

What you put into your body comes out in your skin. Whether that’s food or stress, how you treat yourself shows on your skin. Don’t take my word for it, though, read this article from Skintactix. They explain why dairy and too much meat can lead to inflammation in the form of acne.

So if I’m getting all of this benefit, why have I chosen to not use Arbonne? Because the benefit I am seeing is from accountability and community, not the product themselves. I hate stevia, and that’s the sweetener they use in their shake powder. I do not see a real reason to add the powder. The powder is made from pea protein (that’s why it’s vegan) and to me, it’s healthier (And cheaper!) to just add in half a cup of raw kale (3 grams of protein right there). It tastes better to me, and I’m not using anything processed. I have a phobia, of sorts, to processed foods. I still eat some processed foods, because this is a process after all, but I’m weeding them out. Plus did I mention the taste?? I hate stevia.

Anyway, so my smoothies have been fruit/coconut milk/kale. I am heavy on the fruit, and light on the kale since it’s only in there for protein and not taste. I found I like the lighter side of coconut milk instead of almond milk and I am scared of too much soy impacting my thyroid, so I avoid using soy milk since I know smoothies will be a large part of my diet.

At first, this whole smoothie drinking (particularly two meals a day) was a quite a chore, and mostly a decision rather than a desire. (Chug, Chug, finished!) Then this morning I actually woke up craving a mango and coconut milk smoothie. How insane is that? I am moving in the right direction, but it’s hard. I so want fast food. I do break down and eat it occasionally, but I feel so horrible compared to when I am leaving it out of my diet that I’m learning, as my friend who’s going paleo recently told me, “It’s just not worth it.” And ultimately, it is not worth it. My body is better, so is my mind, and I feel like I’m better protected against disease as well when I’m eating healthy.

I am not on the fully raw bandwagon right now, but who knows? Maybe one day. Right now, I’m enjoying moving towards vegan, not ready to cut out yummies like vegan chili 🙂 (Especially in this frigid january weather we’re having.) This is a good journey for me, and a wonderful way to move forward into the new year.

We are getting our finances in order, our health in order, and our lives on track for reaching the goals we have ahead of us. It’s exciting! How are you doing this year? What nutritious goals have you set for yourself and your family?

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Here is a tip you can use to get your kids to eat healthy! My son hated smoothies until I put them in these little single pouches, now he drinks all of them (even the veggie ones!) Peter Rabbit Organics makes these Pea, Spinach and Apple Puree, 4.4-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 10) which are so cute, and so easy. I get them at my local grocery store or you can buy them in bulk on amazon to save a little (see the link.)

Screen shot 2014-01-07 at 1.43.58 PMOr you can go re-useable (my preference) and get the kind that refill and are dishwasher safe. TheseReusable Food Pouch (Pack of 4) from Squooshi come in two different sizes and are so cute. (Cute, apparently, is the draw for my son. who walks away from a mason jar or glass filled with a smoothie. That makes sense to me. Some of the smoothie concoctions are scary looking.). They are also BPA-free. They have a zipper pouch that opens so you can fill easily. I haven’t tried them yet, so I don’t know if they hold in the smoothie well or not. Anyone out there tried the re-useable kind? I’m thinking of ordering these with the animal prints on them. Just blend up your favorite smoothie and put it in a pouch. Great for eating healthy on the go.

Snack Idea!

star fruit

Also, for a healthy snack that isn’t a smoothie–grab a star fruit! It’s a lovely fruit that, when sliced, makes star shapes. My son will come and ask me, “Momma, can we eat stars?” 🙂 Easy, healthy, and fun. It’s amazing. 🙂

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